/// overview

SUBSISTENCE is a survival-themed arcade action game that combines a harsh atmosphere full of enemy hordes and snappy, fast-paced, streamlined player control.

SUBSISTENCE was born April 1, 2013 (april fools! i actually am programming games now), as a design doc for a game that utilizes the engine i’m building for my other (recently-)solo project, Gearbeasts: New Universal Order. by taking apart and restructuring the aiming code in Gearbeasts, i was able to build a functioning prototype for the game in just a day, and every day after that has been dedicated to refining that initial prototype, making everything feel and respond just the way it should for maximum enjoyment. SUBSISTENCE is an ultra-streamlined, yet surprisingly deep action-shooter designed around arcade-like gameplay. everything in-game is made by me– the artwork, the sounds (which are temp), the music, and the actual framework and design of the game. it’s technically my first solo project (PULSECHASER was developed while SUBSISTENCE was being made, but was released first), and it’s still rough around the edges.

this game is still in development and i plan on releasing a public demo soon.

/// gameplay and design

you are supplied with one weapon, and it’s permanently attached to your arm.

you will not find any other weapons– you will master this one weapon, and it will be more than enough to lay waste to every Fragment you see.
this weapon can do 2 things– it can fire shots in bursts of 3, and it can quickly charge up and release powerful explosive shots that destroy whatever it hits– including erasing enemy shots.

when you are far away from enemies, you will automatically fire by hitting the fire button. shots fire in bursts of 3 with every press of the button. holding the fire button charges up a shot. a shot takes less than a second to charge, and has a 4 second cooldown. a small chime comes from the gun when it is ready to fire off a charged shot, but the real momentum of charged shots is more about feel than audio cues.

when you are close to enemies, shooting will turn into a powerful kick attack, which will literally kick enemies so hard that they turn into explosive projectiles, slamming into groups of enemies to wipe them all out at once. i like this a lot– rather than just shoot all the time, you have the option to turn every enemy within your reach into a mini-charge blast, kicking them into each other, and kicking, and kicking. in fact, you don’t have to shoot a single bullet if you don’t want to– you can choose to master the melee attack, and simply kick everything you see into each other.

rolling is assigned to its own button, allowing you to roll at any time as long as you are on the ground. rolling is used to dodge enemy fire and jump further ahead. rolling has no cooldown, so you can do it as many times as you want. you can even roll rapidly if you want in order to get to a place faster and safer, but you can’t shoot or charge your gun while rolling.

in order to truly “master” SUBSISTENCE, you must learn to understand optimal player-to-enemy distance, hone your reaction time, master how to exploit the provided mechanics for maximum efficiency, and understand your options and react based on what the best decision would be at that time.

will you fire off that charged shot into the ground in order to destroy the bullets headed your way?

will you roll towards the ground soldier so you can kick him into a group of friends, or will you simply shoot him until he dies and then jump in the air and kick his buddy above him into that same group of friends?
will you try to take out each enemy as quickly as possible, or will you focus and dodge every bullet that comes towards you, and then fire off a charge shot and save yourself?

SUBSISTENCE is this moment of strategy and planning, but moving at 60fps, and lasting until you put the game down.